The ability to give Mother Nature a helping hand by driving the process of evolution at higher speed should allow us to develop plant varieties and crops which are more resistant to disease and pests and less reliant on chemical protection and chemical fertiliser. While we do hope the French take steps to build capacity there, that capacity is unlikely by the end of March to be generous. So food security in the future should mean for example, returning soils to robust health, and improving their organic content. Enhancing the environment for rural businesses But nobody can be blithe or blasé about the real impact on food producers of leaving without a deal. We are now entering the fourth agricultural revolution, and what a game changer it will be. Fourth Agricultural Revolution. Our world is entering a fourth agricultural revolution. Data analytics, allied to sensors which monitor the health of livestock, will also allow us to develop the optimal environment for animals, helping us to get their nutrition right, safeguard their welfare and improve both dairy and meat production. And, of course, if the pound does make exports more competitive, it also feeds inflationary pressures at home. While consumers have enjoyed the benefits of increased efficiency in British farming why have farmers not reaped anything like the same benefits? ELM payments are designed not just to complement existing sources of income but also complement existing initiatives many farmers already pursue. That helped drive an equally dramatic increase in population numbers, which in turn sustained the industrial revolution. And nor can we ignore the looming problems that we face. I know that some of the predictions about what might happen without a deal have been dismissed as another episode of Project Fear, a re-run of the lurid claims in the 2016 referendum that a vote to leave would trigger an automatic recession. British citizens have a wider choice of high-quality food than ever before and the cost of food for the consumer has fallen significantly in recent decades. But while Project Fear proved to be fiction, when we look at what a no-deal Brexit could involve we do need to be clear about the costs and facts. Farm Robotics. The more information we have – and especially the more information an increasingly discerning public have when they make consumer choices – the better markets work. That is why I commissioned Dame Glenys Stacey to look at the whole landscape of farm regulation and inspection. It will probably also require us to build in resilience and flexibility to our agricultural sector so we can deal with changes we cannot anticipate by ensuring we having diversity in the size and type of farm business in this country. But first I do want to take a deliberately longer view. That is a public good which contributes to improving water quality and for which farmers could be paid. Our universities are home to some of the most respected agriculture, food and environmental science, vet medicine, land management, chemistry, zoology and botany departments in the world. Food production has been a success story for Britain. There are important ethical, and economic, questions about gene-editing which we need to debate. The argument that we can lower the cost of food by importing from countries that have pursued deforestation policies ignores the fact that we all have to pay for the environmental damage in other ways. And it also means guarding against those looming changes we can foresee – taking steps to minimise flood risk, adapt to climate change and safeguard biodiversity so we have a rich bank of natural capital on which to draw for the future. The Scientific Revolution, during the early modern period, was when developments in math, physics, astronomy and sciences laid the foundation for our modern way of life. Of course, the immediate political question which all of us must wrestle with is Brexit – and more particularly how Britain leaves the European Union in less than three months’ time. Precision farming and technological advancements along the supply chain can help address these challenges and meet rising global food demand, driving the next wave of agricultural revolution. And the consumer has benefited from the enterprise and innovation of our food producers. The fourth industrial revolution (4IR) is starting to change how every agricultural player, from a family farmer to a global conglomerate, produces food and related products. Our ambition at Defra to lead the world in our thinking about food depends on our ability in the first place to maintain a healthy farming sector and overall a robust rural economy. Four major turning points in world history - First: Tool Revolution (20,000 years ago); Second: Agricultural Revolution (12,000 years ago); Third: Industrial Revolution (c1760-1840); Fourth: Technological Revolution (1950 to present day and [ ongoing). ] And we are relentlessly focused on how to streamline the bureaucracy we have inherited under the CAP to ensure farmers can concentrate on their core business of sustainable food production and enhancement of our natural capital. Beef or soybeans produced to scale on land in other countries that have been cleared of vast hectares of forests may appear cheap but in fact such food is costing the earth. ‘Never before has our industry been offered the World of Opportunity that presents itself here, before us, today.’. As I said earlier, it would hit those who are our smaller farmers and smaller food businesses. ‘We stand on the threshold of new horizons,’ Tom argued. A no-deal Brexit means we would face overall tariff rates of around 11% on agricultural products. Robotics are getting better and better, and their viability is being explored across the agricultural value chain, from … For some, the adjustment will be undoubtedly challenging. Embracing change, supporting reform is the key to unlocking the Treasury’s special box. In 2016/17, more than half of the UK’s farms earned less than £20,000 and a fifth made no profit at all. But some sectors would be much more severely affected. Gene editing also poses important ethical questions, and the energy required to maintain vertical farming systems can be costly and carbon-intensive, he told delegates, adding that despite these challenges, “No change is not an option.”, “Reform is vital to modernize the sector and to capitalize on technological advances.”, URBAN AGRICULTURE IN THE UNITED KINGDOM'S UNCERTAIN FUTURE, WHY VERTICAL FARMING ISN'T A MIRACLE SOLUTION TO FOOD SECURITY, singapore, Agritecture, urban agriculture, urban farming. A crude attempt to label certain foods, meat and dairy, as somehow inherently unhealthy does not do justice to the scale and complexity of the problem and neither does crude calorie labelling. Which is why the new Livestock Information Programme which Minette Batters has championed and helped to secure this year is so important. I want our Food Strategy to be ambitious, to ask big questions, to challenge lazy orthodoxies. While exchange rates might take some of the strain, the costs imposed by new tariffs would undoubtedly exceed any adjustment in the currency markets. This fourth agricultural revolution will therefore require us to change the way we work on the land and invest in its future, will force us to reform the role of Government in regulating and supporting farming; will demand new thinking and new talent in food production, and will, inevitably, require tough choices to be made. That is why we have secured a seven-year agricultural transition, beyond the 21-month transition period set out in the EU Withdrawal Agreement, to enable farm businesses to plan ahead. That is just one of the reasons why I hope my colleagues in Parliament support the Prime Minister’s deal. To place food security on a sounder footing, enable food producers to plan for the future with confidence, provide a proper understanding of the real economics of the food industry, harness the potential of new technology to improve productivity, make that productivity growth genuinely sustainable – and to improve the nation’s health. Currently the world entering, or can I say has already entered, its fourth agricultural revolution which is driven by robotics. Why we care: Secretary Gove argues that due to a high price tag and consumer perception, we are “very far” from introducing eaters to cell based meat. For example, the adoption of minimum tillage techniques can not only decrease costs and improve productivity but it also reduces run-off and erosion. Much of our trade currently reaches European markets through the narrow straits between Dover and Calais. In the Budget the government announced that it would invest a further £200m over the next two years providing full fibre broadband in rural areas. So today I hope to outline how Defra sees its role in the midst of this fourth revolution – with respect to all the areas for which the department is responsible – food, the rural economy, and our environment. CRISPR-Cas editing technology has received significant attention in the agricultural sector, for its ability to help scientists make cuts at specific locations in a plant genome that introduce precise changes to facilitate crop breeding. That’s why we need to ask searching questions about just where, how and why poor diet occurs – and seek answers. Vertical farming relies on energy inputs which are currently costly and carbon-intensive. This video covers the Green Revolution and discusses the possibility of a new fourth Agricultural Revolution. Regarding the top global trends driving the fourth agricultural revolution, Technological innovations are beginning to transform every link in the food chain, from seed to fork. The fourth industrial revolution (4IR) is starting to change how every agricultural player, from a family farmer to a global conglomerate, produces food and related products. To take advantage of precision technology, AI, robotics and data analytics requires a level of capital investment which is not available to all. We are also likely to see more and more of our need for protein met by aquaculture and cellular agriculture. So as the German statesman Otto von Bismarck once put it, ‘If revolution there is to be, far better to undertake it than undergo it.’. That is and often forgotten a greater degree of security over future funding for farming than that enjoyed by any other existing EU nation. Ensuring that this fourth agricultural revolution is responsible is important. Industry is on the verge of a food production revolution, UK secretary of state for environment, food, and rural affairs, Michael Gove, told delegates at the Oxford Farming Conference yesterday (January 3). CBT Ranking:The U.K. is tied for 6th in our Global Landscape charts. But recent changes at both Natural England and the Rural Payments Agency are beginning to address the problems we face. Do the economics of contemporary food production add up? This challenge, however, requires very careful handling. But the turbulence which would be generated by our departure without a deal would be considerable. Gene edited plant and and crop varieties, modified using methods known as new plant breeding techniques, for example, can help plant and crop varieties produce higher yields. In June last year, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that crops obtained by mutagenesis - a technique that genetically alters the material of a plant - are to be classified as GMOs. The fourth agricultural revolution, much like the fourth industrial revolution, refers to the anticipated changes from new technologies, particularly the use of AI to make smarter planning decisions and power autonomous robots. Vertical farming, with vegetables grown in temperature, moisture and nutrition-controlled indoor environments can also guarantee improvements in yield while at the same time limiting environmental externalities. If Parliament doesn’t back the Prime Minister’s deal all those gains will be put at risk. Crops … The Agricultural Revolution, around 10,000 BCE, defined our ability to domesticate farm animals and cultivate crops to support the rise of cities. Compared to other industries, the agricultural sector has been slow to implement and take advantage of the variety of technologies that are powering the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Our food security currently rests on both healthy domestic food production and of course global trading links. This fully-funded (UK/EU students) studentship will investigate how agri-tech innovation in the UK can be responsible. Few professions take a longer view than agriculture. But both the Chancellor and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury are committed to using that review to support growth, encourage technological innovation, demonstrate British leadership in areas of business excellence as well as spreading prosperity more equitably across the country. If we do secure support for the deal, however, then we can forge ahead with further reforms which can put Britain in a world-leading position, not just in food production but also in the wise stewardship of our natural assets. Secretary Gove believes we are moving into the 4th agricultural revolution, a revolution that will include cell based meat. In many parts of the world, the green revolution has left a legacy of over-cultivation and excessive chemical usage, which has contributed to widespread land degradation and the pollution of natural ecosystems. In the next agricultural revolution, technological developments, such as artificial intelligence, the analysis of big data, drone development, machine learning, and robotics will allow us to improve productivity on traditionally farmed land, Gove told delegates. Accelerating technological advances he mentioned such as the drive towards artificial intelligence, the more sophisticated than ever analysis of big data, drone development, machine learning and robotics will together allow us to dramatically improve productivity on traditionally farmed land not least by reducing the need for labour, minimising the imprint of vehicles on the soil, applying inputs overall more precisely, adjusting cultivation techniques more sensitively and therefore using far fewer natural resources, whether carbon, nitrogen or water, in order to maximise growth. Here are four major technology trends shaping the fourth agricultural revolution. During the second agricultural revolution which was prompted by the industrial revolution; crop yields went up, fertilizers and pesticides started being used, and farm sizes increased. Similarly, farmers who have chosen to go organic can secure a premium in the market for their produce but their contribution to improving the level of organic matter in our soil also leads to more carbon sequestration and broader environmental resilience. Focusing on the digital revolution in feed and livestock farming was the highlight of the 6 th Global Feed and Food Congress (GFFC) held in Bangkok in March. It is time to discuss the scary aspects with the same vigour as the exciting part. Because the truth is as this conference designed to underline. New seed varieties were generated that powerfully improved yields and, alongside improvements in fertiliser manufacture, pest control and other forms of crop protection, they allowed developing nations to overcome scarcity and hunger, laying the groundwork for the global economic growth which has lifted billions out of poverty. Affordable food for every citizen is a key goal of public policy. Alongside the development of new seed drills, selective breeding, large-scale drainage schemes and land reclamation all these changes dramatically increased food production. The Fourth agricultural revolution is a marriage between data, technological innovation with farming that will further transform the industry and help us to achieve a new level of productivity, quality, diversity, efficiency and environmental sustainability. But I want us to go further. Part of the answer is greater transparency. We have already pledged to spend the same level on farm support in cash terms after we leave the European Union right up to the end of this Parliament. But we also know that climate change is going to have an impact on the resilience, and range, of food production in other countries particularly in the global south – so countries like our own will have to play an even more important role in world food production. The Fourth Industrial Revolution and changes in agricultural production [2]. 15. So just what does a fourth agricultural revolution entail? In a way, the fourth agricultural revolution reverses the trends of agriculture as we know it. “Very far” resembles a timid uncertainty, but an interesting expectation from a Big 5 government. And with the scale of change coming that I mentioned earlier, the more assurance we can provide the better. The Top Global Trends Driving The Fourth Agricultural Revolution - Trendopsis Technological innovations are transforming everything, digital technologies and analytics are making farm operations more insight-driven and efficient. All of these investments sit alongside our other commitments to invest in rural communities. The loss of forest cover imposes environmental costs on all of us, as valuable carbon sinks disappear and a defence against climate change is dismantled. They will be higher-yielding and more environmentally sustainable. There is a world of opportunity for British agriculture if we are prepared to embrace the opportunities that our policy reforms and the wider technological revolution can bring. Equally, farmers could be rewarded for enhancing the natural capital of which they are stewards – protecting ancient woodland, bringing woodland under active management or restoring peat bogs. We can also better support our organic farming, landscape restoration and biodiversity enrichment; as well as improving public access to the countryside. As a result of leaving the EU and its strict policies controlling the use of genetically modified crops and animals, the UK could open up to opportunities in gene editing, Gove suggested. That’s in part because of post-farm gate innovation, and supermarkets offering consumers added value – scrubbed potatoes; chickens seasoned and sold in roasting bags – which customers are happy to pay more for, but that innovation has inevitably reduced the percentage of the final price which has gone to the farmer. Agricultural development has been hailed as one of the key tools that can be used for ending extreme poverty, thus boosting shared prosperity and feeding a projected global population of 9.7 billion people by 2050. Which is why Tom Allen-Stevens is right to look to the future with confidence. Of course we can, and are at Defra, doing everything to mitigate those costs and are developing plans to help support the industry in a variety of contingencies. Of course there is already one conspicuous way in which we do lead the world in terms of food. From the Lake District to Exmoor, from East Sussex to Teesdale, there is alongside our natural environment a delicate human ecology we need to consider, we also need to consider the natural environment as we seek to conserve and enhance. That is also why we have published proposals to allow for agricultural support payments to be rolled forward into a lump sum which can used now to re-model farm businesses for the future. Departure from the EU also presents an opportunity for hydroponic and vertical farm producers to attain organic status. Because, hugely significant as the changes generated by Brexit will be, it’s important that we consider them in the broader context of the wider forces driving change in farming, food policy and our relationship with the rest of the natural world. He will be visiting farms and food producers and working with people across the industry to ensure we ask the right questions. Science is thus both making us aware of why agriculture needs to change and also enabling that change to meet our needs. And, again, in advance of the Spending Review the government has also made a commitment to invest in the extension and improvement of rural broadband coverage. According to the AHDB’s excellent Horizon report, we export around 15% of our beef production and around a third of lamb. Technological Advances In the next agricultural revolution, technological developments, such as artificial intelligence, the analysis of big data, drone development, machine learning, and robotics will allow us to improve productivity on traditionally farmed land, Gove told delegates. Some of that trade is routed through Rotterdam to other markets beyond the EU but most of it goes to European consumers. But we should be clear about the real costs of food production. 16. Her report, which is a brilliant analysis of how to make inspection more proportionate, focused and effective, makes clear that outside the EU and the CAP we can have less onerous inspection, simpler regulation and greater confidence in the maintenance of high standards. The secretary also flagged data analytics, which together with advancements in sensor technologies, can monitor the health of livestock and develop optimal environmental conditions for animals. I recognise that there will be wariness among some about how we propose to administer these contracts because the recent record of delivery with environmental and countryside stewardship payments has been so woeful. But in many parts of the country it is smaller farmers who preserve, in the words of the Prince of Wales, the culture in agriculture. Compared with a generation ago, it is often the case that farmers receive a lower share of the money that we, the public, hand over to supermarkets and other food retailers. And advances in synthetic biology may allow us to create traditional animal products – from gelatine and egg whites to milk and even meat – in labs. And if we are to maintain our own resilience and reputation for quality, that means we must maintain our own high environmental and animal welfare standards, and we must not barter them away in pursuit of a necessarily short-term trade-off. Food and drink is our biggest manufacturing sector, with our food and drink contributing £113 billion to the economy every year. Fish farming is an increasingly efficient way of using crops to generate nutritious proteins. Growing indoors makes pesticides unnecessary, and thereby also pesticide-resistant GMO’s. In addition, the fourth agricultural revolution may see animal products, from gelatin to egg whites, to milk and even meat, made in labs, Gove continued. This is in line with the ‘outside-in approach’ set out in last year’s Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, which committed to connecting remote rural areas so that the UK has a truly nationwide, state-of-the-art, broadband network at last. And critically what do we think is required to make food production in this country truly sustainable? These public goods too could be rewarded. Improved habitats with more diverse wildlife – which are likely to attract tourist income to less favoured areas – are also a public good we could recognise. The third revolution which is referred to as […] The fourth agricultural revolution, much like the fourth industrial revolution, refers to the anticipated changes from new technologies, particularly the use of AI to make smarter planning decisions and power autonomous robots. The first revolution was the move from hunting and gathering to settlement and cultivation – which made possible the generation of surpluses, the beginning of trade and the establishment of civilisation. Well, no recession came and the economic forecasts turned out to be unfounded. It not only gives us a 21-month transition period in which current access is completely unaffected, it also allows us to maintain continuous tariff-free and quota-free access to EU markets for our exporters after that, allows us to diverge from EU regulation in many areas after the transition; means that we will leave the Common Agricultural Policy and it also ends all mandatory payments to the EU. For ease of access, below is the full transcript of Michael Gove’s speech at the Oxford Farming Conference 2019, originally published on gov.uk. Fish farming of course generates its own environmental externalities. “The ability of giving Mother Nature a helping hand by driving the process of evolution at higher speed should allow us to develop plant varieties and crops which are more resistance to disease and pests and less reliant on chemical protection and chemical fertilizer.”. From biotechnology to big data, science and technology are ready to take over the agricultural sector in order to … So as farmers become even more efficient, and get an even better return per hectare – how can we ensure that we have a profitable farm sector alongside low prices for good food? Our proposed Environmental Land Management contracts will provide farmers and other land managers with a pipeline of income to supplement the money they make from food production, forestry and other business activities. Were the need to arise, Brian Tischler could simultaneously sip coffee in a café in Vienna, Austria while using his smartphone to steer a tractor across his 2,500-acre farm in Mannville, Alta. As I mentioned earlier in the context of food security, it is particularly important that we are sensitive to the need of smaller farmers, because I’m acutely aware that for many of them, the changes in how we provide support and the changes in how technology will affect food production raise real challenges. And I will address that question head on in a moment. Author of the article: Naomi Powell. Introduction – History tells us science is the futureOne of my favourite Radio Four programmes, second only to Farming Today, is The Long View. How do we help those, in this country, and across the globe, who are living in poverty? The potential for growth this sector brings in terms of raising incomes among the poorest population does not come without a cost. So if we can embrace the changes I’ve been discussing today, we will ensure British agriculture, and the rural economy more widely, will be able to benefit in that Spending Review. And in reflecting on the challenges faced by smaller farmers, especially livestock farmers, it is important to be straight about the really significant challenge which would be posed by a no deal Brexit. Because the background against which this fourth agricultural revolution is occurring – indeed many of the stimuli for it – are the environmental and social factors I’ve just, briefly, listed. The fact that these problems disproportionately affect more disadvantaged sectors of society should offend our sense of social justice. He’s right. The fourth agricultural revolution supports the use of technology in order to promote sustainable farming. Under current EU laws, organic farming is ‘based on the soil’, which disqualifies these soil-free systems from organic certification. While those of us in Westminster live in a world of hourly Twitter storms and daily news cycles where a week is now a very long time in politics, farming requires the patience and foresight to think in harvests and lifecycles, to see beyond the immediate and scan the far horizon. The requirement to use less carbon, to limit the nitrous oxide entering our atmosphere and the nitrates entering our rivers, to improve the organic content and fertility of our soil, to renew, reuse and recycle finite natural resources and yet, at the same time, to also improve resource productivity as the human population grows, all these are the forces driving technological innovation. Because we all now, the potential of the Fourth Agricultural Revolution will only be fully realised if we ensure the very best levels of digital connectivity across rural Britain and that is why this investment has been prioritised. Of course, a nation as adaptable, resilient and creative as ours can and will flourish over time, even without a deal. And the third agricultural revolution, around the mid-20th century, when the Green Revolution made an entry, increasing yields, saving many from starvation. That is why I have asked Defra’s lead non-executive director, the food entrepreneur Henry Dimbleby, to lead on the development of a new Food Strategy. And because we recognise that farming is a long-term business we believe these public goods should be paid for through multi-annual contracts. These all generate public goods by adding to our carbon storage, boosting air quality, tackling global warming, and also improving water quality. 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